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My daughter, Liv, is special to me because she is my only girl in a family of four boys. She is my firstborn, and I feel like the time went too fast with her.
Here she is sixteen, and I feel like it has been an eye blink from birth to now. My daughter is almost ready to depart the nest. Will she return often?
My desire is to have the strongest bond with her. Here’s the thing, I started with the end in mind. I knew in order to have this type of bond, I’d have to start when she was a baby. This relationship would take time, investment and intentionality.
When she was born, I said I would return to work right away, not even taking the six weeks maternity leave. As the days got closer to returning to work, I couldn’t bear leaving her so I decided to remain at home and spend as much time with my daughter as I could.
As Liv got old enough for school, I noticed she was becoming stressed as she moved from 1st to 2nd grade. My mother’s intuition knew it was abnormal so I started to think about homeschooling her. I don’t know if I would have seen her mentally and emotionally suffering without spending a lot of time with her.
Even though I didn’t know anything about homeschooling, I decided to give it a try. For five years I homeschooled Liv and during this time we spent a lot of time together. In essence, she became one of my best friends.
Honestly, I was nervous educating my child, to be responsible for what she learned was intimidating. During this time, though, she became more confident and sure of herself.
In 8th grade, she went back to public school and has excelled there all while remaining close to me and sharing her feelings with me.
Will I show her Jesus?
While the above paragraphs make me sound like I’ve had it together, can I admit, I’ve been a mess in raising her.
I have failed to spend time doing devotions and I haven’t gotten into the Bible nearly enough with her. I’ve bought her devotional books with the intention to work through them with her and time has gotten away from us.
Guilt and shame have been occasional visitors to me because I haven’t led her to God as much as I’ve liked to. Can you feel my shame or fear that I didn’t do enough?
I’ve dealt with my own childhood pain and emotions through the years I’ve been raising her, including anxiety and depression that have taken my focus from her. More than anything, I hope I’ve shown my daughter a real broken mom who needs Jesus a lot.
In those moments where I’ve blown it, I hope she sees a mom praying or getting into her Bible. #needJesus #faith Click To Tweet I desire for Liv to see a mom who asks for forgiveness and vows to try harder through her mistakes.
I pray she sees Jesus when she looks at me. Is this a bold statement?
I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.(3 John 4, NLT)
How to Grow a Strong Mother-Daughter bond
I was raised with the intention that my parents would never be my friends, however as a parent now, I think there comes a time when your child needs less parenting and more of a friendship.
Spend time together.
Support and encourage.
We are our daughter’s greatest cheerleaders. If we can’t support and encourage them, who will?
Speak the truth even when it’s hard.
We can’t be afraid to tell our daughters the truth even if they might not like us or the relationship might suffer.
Listen and love unconditionally.
Whatever they say or how much they frustrate and disappoint us, we need to show them we will never love them less.
Extend grace certain times of the month and expect irrational emotions.
We know this from experience. Women might say irrational things and our emotions will run wild certain times of the month.
Keep their secrets.
Obviously within reason, but if our daughters confide in us, we need to be trustworthy or they won’t share in the future.
This is probably the hardest one, but as our daughters get older we need to let them make decisions and make mistakes. Our job is to get them independent for life outside our home.
What can we do as mothers for our daughters?
*Pray for them and their faith.
*Ask God to make us Godly mothers and examples to our daughters.
*Help us to live up to our Christian potential.
*Ask God to protect our daughters from the pain we’ve experienced.
As my daughter finishes her last few years under my roof, I hope I can be a Godly role model to her. I know I will fail often, but with confidence, I can say that God has been leading me as her mother.
God will use my example and stir the faith in her heart to guide her to her purpose!
What a mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin.
~ Henry Ward Beecher
Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 17 years.
She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes.
You can find her blog at www.unmaskingthemess.com.